Disney Junior Birthday Book

If you have children, it’s a good bet that for some part of the day they will sit down and watch a bit of childrens TV. If you have pre-schoolers it’s an even bigger bet that it’ll be one of two channels, Cbeebies or Disney Junior.

Well if your household is more Doc McStuffins and Jake and the Neverland Pirates, than Tree Fu Tom and Baby Jake, then I have some really exciting news for you.

From today you’ll be able to submit you little Disney Junior fans picture onto the Disney Junior Birthday Book.

Your uploaded pictures will feature for a whole month on the Disney Junior website in the Birthday Gallery, which gives everyone plenty of time to get online and view your special birthday memento.

If you submit your picture well in advance (2 months in advance to be exact) you could be lucky enough to see your birthday wishes on air, as Disney Junior will be screening some of the birthday’s.

So what are you waiting for, get submitting those pictures to the Disney Junior Birthday Book

Wii-U – Preorder Now

If you’re a parent like me, and are a video game loving family like mine, Your probably mulling up whether to get Nintendos latest console the Wii-U for Christmas.

I decided to write-up this post all about the Wii-U, what the console does differently to the Wii, and what games we can expect, and the best package deals available at launch, to help us all decide whether to go ahead and pre-order ready for delivery on 30th November.

What is the Wii-U

The Wii-U is Nintendo’s latest home console video game system, and the follow-up to the unbelievably successful Wii.

One of the biggest criticisms of the Wii was its graphical capabilities. To be honest, it’s never looked the best, but it never’s really bothered us before. Most of the time it’s only used by the kids playing Super Smash Bros brawl or Super Mario Bros Wii, so it’s not a problem.

It was only when we started playing Legend Of Zelda:Skyward Sword that we realised how much better this already beautiful game would look on a more powerful console. It does look amazing in places, but in others it’s just not good enough.

The Wii-U is going to change all that, finally Full HD graphics! That’s not the best bit however, the biggest difference is arguably going to be the GamePad.

The Wii-U GamePad is a brand new controller that is going to act as your controller, TV screen, remote control, video chat camera, all in one.

The GamePad is a tablet style controller. It has all the normal control sticks and buttons, but also contains a 6.2 inch touchscreen.

Use the touchscreen either with the stylus or simply your finger, the GamePad will be getting a lot of use, even when you’re not playing an actual game.

Nintendo’s new Miiverse a type of family friendly social network will use the GamePad’s screen capabilities. So you can chat to friends (either video or text), send and receive messages, receive updates, all through the GamePad screen. Negating having to load up the Wii-U and hog the TV screen.

With some games you will also be able to play with your family all around the TV, then if dad wants to switch over and watch the TV he can go ahead. You can continue playing your game on the GamePad – How cool is that! This feature definitely sold my son on the Wii-U, he thinks that is amazing.

The GamePad also has NFC technology. Which means it can recognise objects also with NFC. Like the way the Skylanders portal can recognise which Skylander your using. Raising the possibility that in future you will be using your GamePad in the same way, with Mario figurines or trading cards.

In the US you will also be able to watch tv content through your Wii-U, using your GamePad as a remote control. Although this wont be available in the UK at launch, it’s predicted to come to us eventually.



Basic or Premium Pack?

First main difference between the two packs – All the Basic models are white and the premium ones are Black. I’m not sure why, but I suppose it makes it easier to differentiate between the packages quickly.

A few years ago I would probably have been more annoyed as I would have wanted the Premium pack in White. However now I have a black XBox 360 and the PS3 is black, it’s not an issue for me as I would want a black one to complement the others in the AV cabinet.

Enough about the colour, down to the nitty-gritty of what you get for your money.

 The basic pack contains:  

  • white Wii-U console with 8GB of memory
  • One White Gamepad (the one with the screen)
  • AC adapters for the Console and Gamepad
  • HDMI cable
  • Doesn’t include the Sensor Bar which you will need (If you have a Wii already you are OK)
  • Doesn’t come with Cradle or stand
  • Doesn’t come with any game

The Premium Pack Contains:

  •   Black Wii-U Console with 32GB of memory
  • One Black Gamepad (the one with the screen)
  • AC adapters for the Console and Gamepad
  • HDMI cable
  • Sensor Bar
  • Wii -U Gamepad Cradle (For charging) and Gamepad Stand
  • Copy Of Nintendo Land Game

In my opinion the additional memory, plus the included game make it a simple choice. The premium bundle is definitely better value. Nintendo Land might not be the number one game your after, but it’s much more than a simple throwaway bundle title. Luigi’s Ghost Mansion, Animal Crossing, and Donkey Kong’s crash course – These all look like great little games.

Pre-order the Wii-U now for delivery 30th November

The Best Package deals available:


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Games available at Launch

Probably the majority of Toybuzz readers will be looking for the more family friendly games. So the games to lookout for at launch are:

New Super Mario Bros U – Loved Super Mario Bros Wii – More of the same Please! New gameplay via the GamePad looks so much fun

Nintendo Land – Collection of mini games all featuring famous Nintendo characters and games. Mix of multi and single player.

Sonic and All Stars Racing Transformed – Family friendly racing fun – Think Mario Kart but with Sonic

Ben 10 Omniverse – Game based on the brand new soon to be released Cartoon Series – My kids love all the Ben 10 games, so this will be a must for us

Rise of the Guardians – Game based on the new Dreamworks film – Play as either Santa, Tooth Fairy, Easter Bunny, Sandman or Jack Frost.



For older gamers (much older gamers) Nintendo have finally realised that you may want to play on their console too, so now have you covered in the FPS department. Nintendo haven’t specified firm release dates for most of these games, but they are thought to be being released around launch or just after.

Assassins Creed 3 – The game fans of the series have been waiting for

Batman: Arkham City Armoured Edition – The amazing Arkham City but with special GamePad features. Gamepad screen acts as a Batcomputer throughout the game

Call of Duty : Black Ops 2 – Do I need to explain?

Darksiders 2 –

Madden NFL 13 – Selecting teams and working out your plays will be amazing on the touchscreen Gamepad

Mass Effect 3 Special Edition

ZombiU – Poster boy for the GamePad, makes use of all of the touchscreen and accelerometer tricks. Looks scary, but I really can’t wait for this one

Tekken Tag Tournament 2

Your Shape Fitness Evolved 2013



Games to look forward to in hopefully late 2012 /early 2013 are:

Skylanders Giants

Lego City Undercover – Looks like Grand Theft Auto for Kids. Another must buy for the children

Rayman Legends – The family and I have had so much fun playing Rayman Origins on the Xbox 360 – I can’t wait to try out the new Rayman on the Wii-U

Rabbids Land

Marvel Avengers: Battle For Earth 

Scribblenauts Unlimited

Just Dance 4

Ninja Gaiden 3: Razors Edge

Aliens:Colonial Marines

Transformer Prime – Again more for the teens, 10+

I think you’ll agree that’s quite an impressive rosta of games currently on the table, and the list is set to grow and grow. It’s almost certainly a much stronger lineup than that of the Wii, especially with regards to so-called hardcore gamers.

There is a much higher amount of more mature content games, for dad and mum to play once the younglings have gone to bed. Which can only be a good thing.

I’m never going to be one for a game of Call of Duty, I’d rather play Skylanders. However dad would appreciate it and Zombie-U, and if it means that we all get more use out of the Wii-U then that’s brilliant.

 

So after all that what do you think? Will you and your family be getting a Wii-U this year?



 

Top 10 Toddler Toys for Christmas 2010

Here are my predictions for whats going to be the most requested toys from Santa in the Christmas of 2010. Buy gifts for the Toddler set, can sometimes seem like a thankless task. To young for the majority of things, but with a strong desire to be one of the big kids, toddlers can be a tricky bunch to get right. This is my list of hopefully foolproof Toddler gift ideas, Check out the other lists here:

Lego Duplo Disney Pixar Mack’s Road Trip

I love Duplo! It’s a guaranteed Toddler Pleaser.

Safer for little ones as it’s chunky and with no small parts, but with all the fun of Lego construction still intact.

This fun set includes most of the main players from the movie Lightning, Mack and Sheriff, Only Mater is missing from the party.


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Dancing Timmy

Timmy Time’s preschool hi jinks are probably my favourite part of my kids Cbeebies viewing (and I think they quite like it as well).

This cute Timmy doll is all dressed for a proper hip hop style dance off. With his Trainers, Baseball cap and gold medallion, he looks every bit the budding rap star ready to bust a move.

In fact he looks just like the sheep on the cover of his favourite album from the Timmy Can’t Dance episode.

Your Toddler will laugh and dance along, as Timmy dances to his two included music tracks.


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ZingZillas Big Zing Playset Another of my childrens Cbeebies faveoraites are the ZingZillas, Even more so after we got to see them live! I’m predicting that The Big Zing Playset will be one of the big sellers for the Toddler set this Christmas. Complete with all the essential components needed for the Big Zing, like the Beach Byrds, Moaning Stones and the all important Coconut Clock.

Each member of the band will even sing their line of the theme tune when you plug them into their space on the stage.
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All Around Chuggington Interactive Playset

Ok this is my last Cbeebies inspired choice I promise.

The All Around Chuggington interactive Railway is bound to be a sure fire hit with your young Chuggers.

The trainees recognise the environment around them such as knowing when they get to the fuel depot or saying hi when they pass Vee. They even sing a little Chuggington, just like the theme tune when the pass through the tunnel.

Pressing their funnel allows you to hear plenty of your chuggers famous phrases. The trainees even recognise each other and have fun conversations and games together.

They’re are a few different sets out at the moment, but this is the definitive Christmas gift for your young Chugginton fan.


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We Really Did It Dora

To celebrate the 10th anniversary of Dora the Explorer, Fisher Price have released a new dancing Dora doll for 2010.

Listen to Dora sing the all new ‘We Really Did It” song, which will be premiered in the newest Dora movie “Dora’s Birthday Adventure”.

Dora has 4 different modes of play

  • Teach me
  • “We Did It Dance”
  • Strike a pose
  • Say it 2 ways

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Handy Manny’s 2 in 1 Transforming Tool Truck

Still a firm favourite in the Toybuzz household, is last christmas’ Handy Manny Transforming Truck.

Although this one is from last year, I still think it not only makes a great present for the young Handy Manny fan, but also for any young pre-schooler who has a penchant for building and fiddling with things.

Pop open the bonnet and get to fixing the radiator, engine, Battery, Spark Plug and Air filter.

Pull Manny’s Workshop out of the back of the truck, and help Manny and the tools fix the Toaster, Clock, Camera and Fan.


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Mickey Mouse Clubhouse World Playset Now another toy from a hit Playhouse Disney show, The Mickey Mouse Clubhouse. This pared down version of the more expensive Clubhouse Playset incarnation, is without the lights and sounds of the original, but still features everything your toddler needs to have some great fun with Mickey and the gang. Mickey, Minnie and 12 accessories including the Mousekadoer are included. The playset features the seven distinct areas of the clubhouse from the TV show, like the garage, Mousekadoer room, Observation desk and Glove Balloon to name a few.
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Cars Piston Cup Garage Finally a garage made for Disney Pixar Cars fans!

Through the garage you can take a ride around the whole of Radiator Springs.

Visit Luigi’s Tyre shop, Fillmores Gas Station and then Lightning reaches the Winners enclosure and Helipad at the top of the garage.

Unfortunately the garage doesn’t actually come with any of the Diecast Cars, but i’m sure your little Cars fan will have plenty ready and waiting to take a trip around town.


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Fisher Price My Baby Walk and Giggle

More than just a pretty face, the Little Mommy My Baby Walk N Giggle doll has more than one trick up her sleeve, she’s got over 60 actually.

She sings and says over 60 fun sounds, phrases and songs.

Watch your little girl laugh and play mum with her new baby, as she goes from sitting, to standing, then walking and sitting down again all on her own. No help from Mummy required.

She comes with a blanket, bottle, dummy and toy doggy on a lead amongst many other accessories.


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Baby Annabell Battery Operated Scooter

This practically perfect Pink and purple Baby Annabell Scooter, will be your little girls dream machine when she spies it underneath the tree on Christmas morning.

With a sidecar attached just big enough for her Baby Annabell doll, the two of them will be able to travel on many adventures together in comfort.

As well as the space for Baby Anabelle, there’s also a storage compartment behind the drivers seat for those all important travelling knick knacks.


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Mickey Mouse Clubhouse Choo Choo Express

This is a heads up for all of you that have Playhouse Disney, and a Mickey Mouse mad preschooler.

A new feature lenghth episode of Mickey Mouse Clubhouse called the Choo Choo Express is soon to be showing on a screen near you.

I saw the advertisement for this today, and Jacob was really excited. He even went and sat down on the sofa ready to watch. He didn’t realise it was just an advert and was disappointed, “Choo Choo gone” he said.

Well the advert doesn’t say when it’s on, but I had a look at the website and I can see it premieres this Friday 11th at 12:00. It’s also on the 17th and the 2nd of January at 12:00 too if you miss it.

I had a slight feeling of deja vu whilst watching the advert, and realised I remember seeing part of this already. Now I know that a lot of the Clubhouses have a similar plot lines, but I definitely remember the sensational six taking the Choo Choo Express up Mistletoe mountain to collect the snow. So how is it a premiere?!

Looking at the DVD details (it’s already been shown in the US so is out already for anyone without Playhouse Disney) it seems that they have basically joined two episodes together. Firstly they go on the Choo Choo Express and collect the snow, which I have definitely seen. Then in the second part of the story they go back out on the train to collect their friends to attend the Big Easy Freezy Party!

As I mentioned the episode has already been aired in the US, and their is already a toy version of the Choo Choo Express out over there. How long this nifty little train takes to reach our shores I’m not sure. However as I’m off on holiday to Florida in the new year, Jacob just might be bringing one home with him.


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I remembered from the Choo Choo episode, it has a pretty catchy “Choo Choo Boogie” song which the boys both loved. The new episode has a new song by They Might Be Giants (who sing the clubhouse theme tune) which seemed quite good as well from what I’d seen on the advert. So I took the plunge and bought the album with the songs, and they are great!

They’re is a new album available called Meeska, Mooska Mickey Mouse, which features the two songs from the Choo Choo Express show and lots of other hits from different episodes too. This album is much better than the previous Mickey Mouse Clubhouse Album, as the songs are all familiar from the show. For some reason the last album was full of songs that we didn’t know, and as such we don’t listen to it very often.


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Have a look at the advert for the show below, and see for yourself but I think this will be a great Christmas treat for all the family!

And if after all the fun of the show, your kids still aren’t Choo Chooed out, check out Playhousedisney.com where you can play a special Choo Choo Express game.

Mickey Mouse Clubhouse Activity Playhouse

As you know by know both my boys are big Disney fans and with the upcoming trip to Florida in January to see the mouse, my house seems to be dominated by Mickey, Minnie, Goofy and the rest of Playhouse Disney at the moment. So when I saw this amazing Mickey Mouse Club House Activity House, I just knew that it would be a big hit in our household.

It’s the ultimate outdoor garden toy for any little Mickey fan, their own version of the famous Club House just for them.

Step through the yellow clubhouse door  which will be instantly recognisable to your little ones, and go inside their fun new home. The red arch of the semi circle club house has been made into a big blue slide, With a set of big sturdy steps leading up to the top on the other side. Unfortunately though you don’t get sucked up backwards like the real silly slide but it still looks fun.


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Pull out the box that’s tucked conveniently and neatly inside the Clubhouse, to reveal a fun sandbox and funny letters box. The set of gears with a handle will help teach your toddler their numbers.

The Mickey Mouse ClubHouse Activity House is suitable from 1 year old, so even the youngest of Mickeys fans will be able to enjoy the fun. The striking design with it’s familiar primary colours has been made sunlight and temperature resistant, to keep it looking good outside for years to come.

This really is a great playhouse, and if I had a garden I would definitely be getting one for my little ones. I’d just love knowing they had somewhere they could both play outside, and the slide looks great..what kids don’t love a good slide!

Toy Train Tables

I’ve already started thinking about Christmas time (OK I know it’s early, but good to make a head start!). When we were in Early Learning Centre recently both of my boys made a beeline for the Thomas the Tank Engine Train Table, so I’ve been considering getting them a nice train set to share.

The Thomas the Tank Engine set from the Early Learning Centre is stunning and has lots to keep two little boys occupied.

However the cost is a factor, it is a lot of money for a train set. The table and train set have to be purchased separately. You could use any set with the play table, but this is the one which is set up in the stores so I know my sons would be expecting this one.


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If your little one is a mad Thomas fan then this would be an amazing gift. However although my sons like Thomas and appreciate the styling I don’t think I need to pay the extra for it, they’d be just as happy with another set.

Another possibility is the Step 2 Deluxe Canyon and Train Track Table, an ingeniously designed table which takes cars and trains in its inbuilt recessed track.

The immediate appeal of this table is that the track and various bridges are moulded into the table, so no more putting pieces back together ever again (hurray!!).

Another great feature is the wipe clean hardboard lid, which means it can be used as an activity table for drawing activities and games etc. The lid also means that all the car’s and trains can be left on the tracks and just covered over, ready for another day’s play tomorrow with no more searching around for lost locomotives (hurray again!!!).

The set does come with 3 basic trains and cars, however most major types like Thomas, Brio and Hotwheels are all compatible.


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Another possible contender in the train table stakes is Toys R Us’s own City Train Table and Railway Set . A great looking set that would undoubtedly make an impressive Christmas present.

The set includes over 100 pieces including trains, trucks, people, trees and a helicopter, and 23 feet of track. This is also the first table I’ve seen to have electronic lights and sounds.

I like the idea of the big drawer at the front to keep all the pieces in, however I’m not sure I want to put the thing together every day.

Again this set works with all the other major types of trains like Brio and Thomas Tank.

And where would a page about wooden train sets be without a mention of the almighty Brio. I’ve got a real infatuation with Brio trains for some reason, and really have my heart set on getting my son’s one (although I’m really tempted by the Step 2).

I really like the simplicity of this train table and set, I’m sure that it would take only a few minutes to set up everyday.

I’m also swayed by the way that I could purchase the smallest set first whilst they are younger and then add on new pieces year on year.

Also from Brio is their new Set’s aimed at toddlers featuring Disney characters.

This beautiful Mickey Mouse Clubhouse styled train set would definitely be a big hit with my two boys, they love Mickey!

As you can see the clubhouse part is removable with a netting bag underneath for keeping all your pieces together.


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Also available in the new Disney range is a set of My Friends Tigger and Pooh Train Sets.


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Decisions, Decisions. I bet you can’t believe that there is so much choice in Train Set Tables. Going to have to go and have a good think about it!

Zippity aims to mix Fun, Exercise and Learning

As Ive mentioned before in previous ramblings my sons both love electronic gadgets and computers and both love Mickey Mouse Clubhouse. So I was interested to hear about Leapfrog’s new children’s entertainment system the Zippity.

It’s made in partnership with Disney and comes complete with 8 in built games featuring 2 games of each of Playhouse Disney’s most favourite characters, Handy Manny, Little Einsteins, My Friends Tigger and Pooh and Mickey Mouse Clubhouse.

Obviously this instantly appeals to me as their all my son’s favoraites as we watch Playhouse Disney most of the day apart from Cartoon network  Ben 10 for Thomas and Nick Jr 2 Wiggle and Learn for Jacob.

The Zippity is a dance mat with 4 coloured circles and a large joystick or Bopper as they call it, which looks more like a microphone to me. The point is too get kids to move around rather than just slob out and play computer games. Games require jumping and dancing on circles rather than tapping buttons.


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The games seem to be a pretty good mix with the old favourites Mickey and Winnie the Pooh. Newcomers Handy Manny and Little Einsteins will be the more educational portions I would have thought. With Handy Manny adding some Spanish into the play and the Little Einsteins teaching about Music and Art.

One point I have a bit of reservations about is that each game only has 2 levels, so even with 8 games it could get a bit repetitive. Additional games will be available for purchase separately though, but that’s just more expense.

This sounds like a good idea and I’m sure kids will love it, but I’m not sure if it’s just another educational gadget that’s going to end up cluttering the house rather than being used just like the VTech Cyber Pocket and V.Smile.

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The Zippity can also be used in conjunction with Leapfrogs online Learning path, which lets you see what your child will be learning at different stages of the games and how that develops as they grow older.

Leapfrog has a mini site for Zippity with lots of info and movies, good if your interested in more information.

Suitable for 3 – 5 year old’s the Zippity will be available in the summer and is expected to cost around £80.00.

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Hey everybody, it’s Mickey Mouse

 

Both my sons are mad about Mickey mouse clubhouse, but im finding it hard to find any good quality toys for them.

Everything seems to be only available in America or Not quite what im looking for, but now I now i’ve found something that my boys will love playing with together and that I consider to be a quality product worth spending money on.

The Brio Mickey mouse clubhouse play table looks like a really well made product as soon as you see it. Im a big lover of wooden toys at the moment, and love that it’s a train set as I can see my boys playing with it for a good few years rather than just a Mickey plush or something that will get too babyish soon.

I really like that a lid comes off the top and revels a drawstring hanging basket for tidying away all the train and track (a mother definitely thought of that). 

At the moment, it dosn’t look to be readily available at the moment  but I found it on Amazon and it’s now top of my to get list.

If any ones got this and has any feedback or just has an opinion on it please leave a comment.